A/N - Tag for Mortal Coil – Rodney's way of letting go, and, yes, I know Rodney can't sing, but I figured him being the genius he is, it wouldn't take all that much for him to learn the guitar.

S/N - It was so unexpected, to hear him sing, to hear his voice in the wind, that it stunned her; stopped her, and, for a moment, she did nothing but listen.

"When a singer truly feels and experiences what the music is all about, the words will automatically ring true."

Monserrat Caballé

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Lost in the rhythm

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Every so often, Teyla found that she needed a moment; a moment away from the crowds of people, from the constant pressure of being in charge, from being on the premiere team of Atlantis. Sometimes, it was just nice to have a little bit of peace and quiet.

Teyla smiled as she listened to the nothingness, the silence of the area that was she was in. If they wanted to contact her, they would by radio. But, for the moment, this was her time. She sighed. Teyla, the brown-skinned, warrior priestess of the Athosians, was pregnant. She had not had any lovers for many years now, so that meant sexual relations were out. How the child was conceived was a mystery to her and the residents of the city.

As she wandered, twisted and turned, she stopped. Teyla could hear a voice, singing by the sound of it. She thought this part of the city was mostly abandoned, due to the distance; but, obviously, someone else had found a home here.

Walking to the corner, feeling fresh wind blowing into her face, she listened as the words carried in the wind. She recognised the voice - it was definitely one of the team members - but she couldn't pinpoint who exactly.

A long, long time ago...
I can still remember
How that music used to make me smile.
And I knew if I had my chance
That I could make those people dance
And, maybe, they'd be happy for a while.

She heard the words clearer the closer she got. They sounded so sad, so full of emotion, that it surprised her. Perhaps this was the person's way of letting go.

But February made me shiver
With every paper I'd deliver.
Bad news on the doorstep;
I couldn't take one more step

Yes, it was definitely someone who was letting go - perhaps it was John - she'd seen him with a guitar; strumming, he called it. She smiled and walked around the corner.

I can't remember if I cried
When I read about his widowed bride,
But something touched me deep inside
The day the music died.

She stopped, dead in her tracks, when she saw the familiar, square face of Doctor Rodney McKay, his eyes half-closed, as he sung out the words to an unfamiliar song. It was so unexpected, so much of a surprise, that she gasped and said,

"Rodney!"

Rodney stopped mid-song and paused, his skin flushed red, showing his embarrassment. He went quiet and his eyes looked down. The last time anyone had heard him sing, play the piano, or even the guitar, they had ridiculed him, chastised him and told he wasn't worth their time. It was his dark secret.

Teyla breathed in, not quite sure what to say or think. He was obviously hurt, embarrassed to be found out. His voice, so melodically, so sweet - and yet so sad, all at the same time, had taken her by surprise.

She'd never asked what he believed in, never asked what he feared and loved or lusted or dreamed. A smile formed on her dark lips as her bright eyes looked him over.

"Rodney," she said his name in barely a whisper. He looked up, still embarrassed, still red. He'd never heard his name said in that way before, with such awe. Not even when he'd saved the city, time and time again.

He didn't say anything, waited for her to laugh at him, to make fun. But no ridicule came. She simply stood there, waited and spoke softly, quietly.

"Sing for me." Three words that struck at his heart; three words that made him smile. His hands strummed on the guitar, finding the metal strings and gently lifting them with his fingers; such precision, that only Rodney was capable of.

He thought of a song, one that seemed appropriate for the occasion.

On a dark desert highway, cool wind in my hair
Warm smell of colitas, rising up through the air
Up ahead in the distance, I saw a shimmering light
My head grew heavy and my sight grew dim
I had to stop for the night
There she stood in the doorway;
I heard the mission bell
And I was thinking to myself,
'this could be heaven or this could be hell'

She smiled, she listened and, for once, Rodney found himself grateful to have an audience to sing to.